Mobile PPC for Higher Education: AdWords Call Extensions

In higher education search PPC marketing, call extensions can be a valuable asset, enabling prospective students to speak with an admissions or enrollment advisor with just a single click. Within the modern PPC marketing mix of search and social PPC campaigns, mobile traffic often accounts for the majority of paid-click user sessions; the terminus of this ongoing mass exodus of users, from their desktops to their smartphones, remains to be seen. As our friends at Unbounce put it back in 2015, “[every year] since 2009, it’s been declared that whatever year it was must certainly be the year of mobile.” Nearly a decade later it’s a sure bet, no matter what year it is, now is the time to be revamping your mobile student acquisition strategy. Today’s blog post is part 1 of my series on Mobile PPC for Higher Education: AdWords Call Extensions.

Why should you make call extensions part of your higher ed search PPC strategy?

  • AdWords call extensions would enable users to call directly via your Google Search PPC ads
  • Phone call inquiries can be an indispensable asset in student acquisition, as many would-be students are actively looking for a specific program to enroll in, and speaking to an enrollment advisor at this moment could make or break that individual’s decision
  • The AdWords API likes it when you use every extension you (appropriately) can
  • You can set Call Extensions to show only when your representatives can take calls
  • Conversion tracking is easy to set up

In lieu of these facts, I find it’s usually in the best interest of most higher ed PPC accounts to implement AdWords call Extensions.

One important thing to remember whenever you’re dealing with (any) extensions in AdWords: when there are multiple extensions at different levels (account, campaign, or ad group), AdWords will elect the most specific to be used. In other words, when you add extensions to an ad group, those extensions show instead of your campaign (or account-level) extensions. Similarly, campaign-level extensions override account-level extensions.

Let’s walk through the steps:

  1. Find a suitable number for prospective students to dial when inquiring about the respective program(s) you’re advertising — typically an Enrollment Advisor, or an Admissions Office hotline
  2. Open your AdWords account
  3. Go to Tools and then Conversions. Select +Conversion
  4. Select Phone Calls and opt for the 1st option (“Calls from ads using call extensions or call-only ads”)
  5. Create your Call Conversion Event, naming it something besides “Calls from ads” — as this is the default call reporting conversion metric AdWords has by default (and it will be difficult to discern between them if they have the same name). You do not necessarily need to assign a value to these conversions, but regardless I recommend setting the call length to 30 seconds and opening the conversion window to 60 days; the other settings can remain at their default
  6. Navigate back to your AdWords account home screen and select the campaign (or ad group) from which you’d like to start receiving phone calls from prospective students
  7. Go to the Ad Extensions tab (hint: if you can’t see it, click on the down-arrow to the right of the viewable tabs – you’ll be able to enable it here)
  8. From the View menu, select Call Extensions
  9. Select +Extension
  10. Select +New Phone Number and enter the number you obtained in step 1
  11. Leave Call Reporting as is (“on”), and leave Device preference unchecked (unless you have mobile-dedicated ad groups)
  12. Open the +Advanced options and select +Create custom schedule – populate this with the hours during which your representatives will be available to receive calls
  13. Check Count calls as phone call conversions and select the conversion event you initially set up in step 5
  14. Click Save

You should be ready to start receiving calls from prospective students! Repeat the steps above and add up to 20 call extensions to each account, campaign, or ad group.

 

Andrew croppedA graduate of the University of California, Andrew is our analytics and paid search team lead. He is both Google Analytics and AdWords certified. With an ROI-focused and problem-solving approach, he researches, plans, and manages our clients’ PPC campaigns.

 

5 Tips for Writing Ad Copy in Facebook for Higher Education

I remember the days when you needed a “.edu” email address in order to set up a Facebook profile – heck, looking back on it, I remember the act of doing so almost as an indoctrination of myself into the university experience. Over the years, Facebook has evolved into so much more than a place for blossoming academics — it’s become a Social Media behemoth, a staple of our daily lives and a marketing utopia where, according to the New York Times in 2016, would-be students and non-students alike spend on average 50 minutes per day. The increasingly ubiquitous nature of Facebook is in part where the channel becomes so valuable to Higher Education marketers like myself.

The vision and specter of your ads across newsfeeds can be a make-or-break moment in the target user’s experience – it can facilitate a potable, attractive touchpoint for prospective students to consider and/or engage with your brand or degree program. Being a numbers kind of guy, ad copy creative tends to fall low on my totem pole of priorities – that’s why I keep this short list of imperatives taped to my desk.

  1. Know your target audience
  2. Use a strong call to action
  3. Use high-quality images, with as little/much text as required
  4. Use verbiage that transitions effectively between all placements
  5. Introduce Ad Variations, and prioritize relevancy score

 

1. Know your Target Audience

According to an article published by the Pew Research Center in 2016, “On a total population basis (accounting for Americans who do not use the internet at all)… 68% of all U.S. adults are Facebook users” – so it can be said that the chances are high, if you’re seeking prospective students, they are more likely than not to be found somewhere at some time on Facebook. After sculpting this user base into highly-targeted (and segmented) ad sets, always keep at the forefront of your mind who you are speaking to, and be sure to tailor your ads’ verbiage to your audience segments. Creating ads which resonate with specifically targeted individuals will foster a more genuine, personable user experience. It may even bolster your conversion rate and ultimately lead to a lower Cost per Lead metric, enabling greater lead volume within a static budget. High quality, personally relevant content (whether sponsored or organic) lays the foundation for the ultimate goal of student acquisition.

2. Use a Strong Call to Action

A strong call to action is so much more than merely a button you append to the bottom-right corner of your newsfeed ads. One could say that the entirety of the ad you’re creating is itself a “call to action”. After all, your objective is to inspire users to act toward your goal. In addition to tailoring your ads to your target users’ characteristics, this could also mean including a timeframe in order to instill a sense of urgency — such as adding enrollment/application deadlines to your ad copy. Do you have a lead form incentive on your ads’ landing page, such as a program brochure? If so, consider include verbiage that creates a thirst in the user to view that content — for example, “download a FREE brochure to learn more about this award-winning program”.

3. Use high-quality images, with as little/much text as required

Selecting the right image to serve up with your ads can have an enormous impact on click through rates on your ads. While it’s not essential to choose an image that’s visually representative of your product or service, in Higher Ed marketing I’ve noticed that images which feature a campus logo tend to produce more academically-geared results.

Text can also be a great eye-catcher, however you must be careful not to exceed Facebook’s text-to-image restrictions, or your ad may suffer the penalty of throttled impressions — or otherwise might be rejected by the Ads’ interface entirely. Facebook’s Text Overlay Tool is always a great last-stop for your ads’ images before they make their way onto the ads themselves.

Lastly, Facebook recommends an image size of 1,200 x 628 pixels as a best practice for most of its campaign goals – you can approximate this, but beware that your image will need to be cropped in order to fit the display of your ads. It’s also recommended to stay away from images that feature the particular shades of blue and white that comprise Facebook’s color scheme, as these ads can often be overlooked by users fatigued with scrolling through their newsfeed.

4. Use verbiage that transitions effectively between all placements

We live in a multi-device world, so fluency between devices is a must if you’re going to capitalize on user experience.”Keep it short and sweet” is the motto to keep in mind when creating ad copy that will transition seamlessly between placements. This maxim applies equally so within Facebook ads due to the inherent nature of “oCPM” bidding — an automatic ad placement feature where the Facebook API optimizes ad impressions across all of its placements to the maximum benefit of your Cost per Result. This feature relies on the Facebook pixel as well as a standard event (e.g. ‘Lead’) implementation, so you should make sure the pixel is firing correctly before you try it out.

I strongly recommend adhering to character limitations in order to create ads that will look good; no matter where they appear in the gamut of Facebook’s network. If you exceed these limitations you risk truncation, or worse, ads which appear incomplete or misleading. Keep it within these limits if you can:

  • Keep your ad’s headline (the bold title, just below your ad’s image) at 25 characters or less.
  • Your text (the introductory snippet above the ad image) should be limited to 90 characters wherever possible — anything more will be truncated, however the user may opt to “see more” if they so chose.
  • Use a link description that speaks to the landing page — but do not feature critical information in this portion of the ad, as it is strictly truncated on mobile (where the majority of your impression are likely to occur). Instead, opt to have this critical information in your text or headline.

5. Introduce Ad Variations, and prioritize relevancy score

A/B testing is a hallmark of high quality, results-driven marketers, and it should be an integral part of your PPC marketing strategy in Facebook as much as it is in any PPC channel. This means introducing new ad variations on a regular basis for each of your ongoing campaigns and respective ad sets.

Similar to Google’s “Quality Score” metric, which the AdWords system uses to factor ad rank in PPC search results, Facebook holds a similar metric of its own: Relevancy Score. According to Facebook’s documentation, “The more relevant an ad is to its audience, the better it’s likely to perform. Ad relevance score makes it easier for you to understand how your ad resonates with your audience.” Do not be deterred if your ads start out with a low relevancy score — it is not unusual for ads that begin with a 1 or 2 relevancy score to blossom over time into higher relevancy scores are user engagement becomes stronger. Nonetheless, over time, unless performance metrics indicate otherwise (e.g. high lead volume, at a favorable cost per lead), you should consider eliminating ads within any ad set that lag significantly behind their peers.

Leveraging these 5 tips is a surefire way to boost performance in your Facebook Ads. Don’t see one of your go-to tricks listed above? Feel free to list it in the comments below!

 

Andrew croppedA graduate of the University of California, Andrew is our analytics and paid search team lead. He is both Google Analytics and AdWords certified. With an ROI-focused and problem-solving approach, he researches, plans, and manages our clients’ PPC campaigns.

5 Reasons Why Digital Public Relations Should be a Part of Your Marketing Budget

Within higher education, digital marketers are lucky, because we have access to professors who are thought leaders on the cutting edge of their respective field. Clearly, professors are incredible resources for their students inside of the classroom, and outside of the classroom, professors function as brand ambassadors for their programs and the larger institution. Of course, marketing teams are aware of a professor’s value in order to attract students, and they build videos and web assets around them to create trust and illustrate value. But when it comes to student generation, are marketers effectively leveraging professors to accomplish larger organizational goals, such as increasing organic rankings, acquiring traffic to their website, and creating new touchpoint? What is clear about higher education digital marketing is that even in 2016, when changes in the SEO and social media industry have forced marketers to rely on the highest quality content, professors are not being leveraged effectively. Here is what they’re missing:

Marketing teams can utilize their professors to acquire more students by leveraging traditional public relations practices for a digital world. This is commonly referred to as digital public relations.

Digital public relations uses the larger media in order build brand awareness, increase the thought leadership for professors and university stakeholders, improve organic rankings, and, ultimately, generate more students. In order to illustrate the importance of digital public relations for higher education digital marketers, I created a list below that focuses on why all higher ed digital marketers should strongly consider incorporating digital public relations into their marketing strategy and budget.

 

1. Digital Public Relations Influences Search Rankings

Digital public relations is the best way to build the highest quality backlinks, which serve as indicators—or votes—that convince Google your site is relevant, trustworthy, and valuable. These indicators will in turn help to place your university program higher up in the search engine results page (SERP). When you land a backlink from a domain authority of a website that is strong, then that helps to strengthen your own website. (The higher domain authority of a website, the more value for Google.) The larger media landscape is one of the best avenues to land high quality backlinks, because they have incredibly strong websites, and they are constantly looking for content.

By leveraging faculty members, a skilled communications team can build stories around professors and pitch them to the mainstream media as sources. It’s very difficult to acquire a profile in the Wall Street Journal or CNN, but a digital public relations team can pitch professors to take part in a larger conversation. For instance, as the news broke on the controversy between the FBI and Apple over an encrypted phone, a digital public relations team can pitch their professors in criminal justice and computer science to provide expert commentary on the story. Reporters will include quotes from the professor, and the public relations team will ask for a link within the article. To see more about our successes, you can read the following article: Tracking digital public relations with SEO goals.

Byline articles are another way to leverage faculty members to create high quality backlinks. (It’s best to have a team who understands how to pitch articles to publications, and it takes someone with a background in journalism or public relations to land these types of opportunities.) In order to build backlinks at high quality publications, the team will pitch article ideas generated in collaboration with the professor to editors. By collaborating with the professor, the team will send an approved article to the editor, and in the bio information on the site, the professor can add the link. The best communication teams provide ghostwriting services.

Expert commentary and byline articles are essential strategies that digital public relations teams implement to reach the highest quality publications, and by landing a link on these sites, it will help build your site’s domain authority as well as send indicators to Google that your site should be higher in the search results. Students will then find your program organically for your targeted keywords, which creates leads without spending any money.

 

2. Increase Brand Awareness

Online education is more competitive than ever, and one way that your program can position themselves in front of your targeted audience is by creating media opportunities at publications with large reaches. By leveraging publications that are trusted, you’ll establish your program as being on the cutting edge of their industries. This will send signals to potential students that not only are the program’s professors actively engaged in the research they’re teaching, but show prospective students that they will be a part of the most relevant conversations and receive an education that will propel their careers. This type of publicity can serve as an opportunity for a prospective student to interact with your brand in a unique way.

While many online programs have marketing strategies that focus on creating interactions with potential students through landing pages, social media, and websites, those brand assets might not initially convert the student because of a lack of clout. Brand awareness and trust can be an issue. Digital public relations begins to create interactions with potential students by leveraging vetted organizations in order to build upon their brand. By interacting with prospective students in a natural way, the message will sink in easier, and the brand assets as well as the larger content marketing strategies will only be strengthened.

 

3. Create a Path for Students

As digital marketers, we’re always trying to imagine the research process of how prospective students come to make a decision about signing up for an online degree program. When a student searches for information about a degree program further along in their decision process, what will they find? Will they simply come across the program’s web assets—or will they find that their program is in the news and that their professors are not just engaging in an academic community, but that they are trying to tell their program’s story to a larger audience?

Digital public relations changes the way that a student researches a degree program by creating a new digital narrative. For instance, a prospective student will benefit by encountering a story about a professor who is quoted in a larger article at the Los Angeles Times, discussing the future of their profession. Perhaps they will remember a professor’s name in the Wired article on the future of 5G technologies. Perhaps students can also come across how a professor is a part of the evolution of digital education and dedicated to creating the optimal environment for students to grow. Or perhaps a prospective student will benefit from seeing a profile highlighting a professor’s advancement in their field based on a new grant. What digital public relations helps with is creating a path, an outline, for students to follow in their research, which illustrates the career options they will have when they graduate.

 

4. Build Relationships with Professors

One of the thoughts that many stakeholders consider when investing in digital public relations is whether or not a marketing team can handle the complex nature of the academic world. In order to have professors invest their time into a digital public relations strategy, they need to trust the team they are working with and know that they will represent their work in the highest regard. So a digital public relations team working in education must have the ability to understand and translate complex academic topics into something that would make sense for the mainstream media.

It’s essential that digital public relations professionals are experts in the art of turning complex academic jargon into something more informal and journalistic. Often, our team has found that professors have no idea how to change their style, so we help them learn to tell their stories in a way that can attract major media outlets. Our team accomplishes this by staying up-to-date on industry trends, interviewing professors the same way a journalist would engage with them, and doing our homework on a professor’s research and background so we can prove to professors that we can not only represent their university but their own personal brands.

But most importantly, we help professors shape their stories outside of academia, and this often creates great relationships with the team and the professor. They value our hard work and expertise, and when professors see their names or bylines in leading publications, they appreciate the value of a larger marketing strategy. Digital public relations benefits both the program and their professors by supporting their research and academic interests. This helps bridge the gap between the marketing team and the individual stakeholders that make up the program. The more a professor’s work is promoted, the more they become thought leaders in their industry, and they will be sought after by other journalists and editors, leading to the opportunity to create new backlinks and touchpoints.

 

5. A Long-term Investment

When it comes to deciding how to spend resources in a marketing budget, the fundamental question every stakeholder wants to know is: What is my ROI? With paid search, a stakeholder in an online program can see how their money is being spent in the short term and evaluate their cost-per-lead as well as their cost-per-acquisition and quickly understand whether or not their strategy is working. While this is an essential part of the larger strategy, a diversified marketing approach will take into account how to leverage all available tactics and try to think about ways to maximize the budget spent on paid ads.

Digital public relations is different than paid search in the sense that it is a long-term approach, and it is essentially free advertising. By building up the number of touchpoints potential students have with your brand as well as the number of backlinks from high quality publications, digital public relations helps online university programs increase their organic rankings, and students will naturally find the degree program without paying for keywords or social impressions. It’s a strategy that pays long-term dividends when it is a part of the larger digital strategy, and it’s an worthwhile investment in the long haul.

To learn more about our digital public relations strategy, see our process here: Circa digital public relations

 

JoeJoseph Lapin M.F.A. is an author, creative director, and journalist, and his writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Narratively, Salon, Slate, and more. He is a former adjunct professor at Florida International University, and he has worked on PR campaigns for Ernst & Young, Brentwood Associates, and more.

4 Ways To Boost Your University’s Social Media Engagement

It’s no secret that the race for social media success is on, but making sure your program has the edge to engage both current and prospective students does not have to be a guessing game. At any given moment, your prospective students are bombarded with an endless tsunami of online content demanding their attention; so how do you break through the pack? Here are 4 crucial tips influenced by Facebook Queen Mari Smith that help higher education digital marketers stay ahead of the competition.

1. Don’t just sell the story; find the story’s inspiration

Everywhere you look online, there is someone spitting out analytics to prove that adding an exclamation point or choosing a video over an image will get you more engagement, reach, etc., but the real value lies in authenticity. Yes, exclamation points, videos, and images are great ways to convey emotion while drawing attention on social media, but what can any of those add to your online campaign if the message itself is an empty one? There is no formulaic box of tricks to follow when trying to revive a struggling Facebook page or campaign. Instead, you must discover the connections and values that encapsulate your program and the audience that you’re trying to engage. Of course, targeting via profession or educational history is an invaluable starting point, but what ideals do your candidates hold? What dreams do you have the power to help them accomplish? Rather than looking at your social analytics as just another file of numbers to throw together a signifying trend, make it your mission to understand why those trends are emerging. Finding the igniting core behind story can give way to an endless amount of creative opportunities instead of blindly following what the data says to follow.

2. Tell students what to do, but make it quick and painless

Now that you know the core of who it is you’re looking for, tell them what to do. As you may have noticed, attention spans seem to dwindle as content continues to exponentially grow, so if your Facebook post leads to a website page where 10 steps must be completed, you likely aren’t seeing much engagement or follow through. Especially for the millennial generation, if participating in your campaign requires more than a 3-click process, it more than likely you won’t be successful. The trick here is to make your call-to-action as simple as possible. This does not mean that you must sacrifice quality for a lesser quantity, but it does mean you’ll need a creative strategy to draw in and engage your perfect target audience.

Since you’ve already dug into their core values in the previous step, it’s time to apply that legwork to quantifiable data. Using a simple “Learn More” call-to-action campaign requiring either an email or a phone number, there is a perfect opportunity to collect data for future outreach opportunities to offer more information or counseling. As a result, using a more succinct call-to-action will not only boost your engagement, but your older recruiting campaigns may also reap the benefits of the vital collected data. Social media is certainly not a game for the weak of heart, but it’s an essential tool. In the last two years alone, social media has revolutionized how content is consumed and sold, but finding your edge in the online jungle will take knowledge, a poignant strategy, and, of course, finesse.

3. Reimagine your content game

Did you know that less than 5% of your Facebook followers actually saw the story you posted this morning and even less followers saw your tweet? As discouraging as that may initially sound, allow me to explain why this is a major social campaign opportunity. When more than 95% of your following has no idea you just shared how incredibly bright their future could be if they knew how your phenomenal program is, then the potential for content creativity is endless! And the best part is you can reuse and repurpose the same textual content you used before. The text on its own, as Facebook Queen Mari Smith would say, should always fall into 3 buckets – information, entertainment, and call to action – but nowhere does it say that presentation should ever be the same. If you have a story that hit a particularly successful wave with your followers, do it again! You can use the same story and present it a new way or bring in a similar story with the same spin, but, either way, why fix what isn’t broken? And on the opposite end of the spectrum, if you have a vital piece of communication that seemingly fell by the wayside, reimagine it. Bring in someone else’s expertise, turn it into a social media contest, build a hashtag campaign around it, or turn the text into an image, infographic, or video – these are just a few of options at your disposal. Just because a campaign flops once, doesn’t mean it’s dead; it just means you need to re-approach it with a new strategy.

4. Be consistent!

This should go without saying, but reinventing your content’s presentation should by no means equate to reinventing your university’s image. Whether you’re promoting a specific program, department, or the university as the whole, your online content should mirror your school’s mission statement every single time. As it is, your university’s existence on social media likely pales in comparison to the history of the institution itself, so why compromise or water down your institution’s long-standing traditions? Instead, take advantage of today’s vast array of digital insights to tap into the precise arena of active, relevant, prospective students that will not only appreciate your message but interact with it and promote it.

As a Social Media Specialist myself, I know that no two days on Facebook, Twitter, etc. are ever the same. The content of course is always changing, the software and structures are never stagnant, and another university is always waiting just around the corner to steal your potential students, but what will never change are the people themselves. If you can tap into the essence of your students and faculty and relay that to form a substantial connection with your audience, then your engagement will not only improve, it will flourish.

Tami Final for SiteAs a recent UC San Diego graduate and one of Circa Interactive’s newest additions to the Content Marketing team, Tami’s theoretical and hands-on social media expertise adds new insight into Circa’s marketing strategies. Her passion for social media and emerging technologies allows Circa and its clients to always stay ahead of the online curve.

How to generate quality Higher Education leads using quizzes

Note: This article was contributed by Josh Haynam, co-founder of Interact.

In marketing there is a constant disconnect between the content we produce and the actual qualified leads that come in. It’s incredibly difficult to reconcile the two and still create a stream of really awesome material.

As a partial solution to this dilemma, I introduce the humble quiz, lauded by NewsWhip as the most shared type of content, which is constantly plastered on your Facebook wall by friends describing the kind of cat they are, and now… a tool for generating leads.

How in the world does a quiz normally associated with cats turn into a lead generation machine for higher education? I’ll do my best to show you how below. There are five steps to the perfect quiz for lead generation. Each is a precise science specifically tailored to Higher Ed. Here we go.

The formula for a perfect lead generation quiz.

  1. Solve a problem with the quiz. When thinking about lead generation, there is always a give-and-take. You are “taking” the person’s contact information and “giving” them a valuable insight about themselves. In order to give something of value, you must solve a real problem for potential students. Based on looking at what’s worked, here are three quiz ideas that can be adapted to fit virtually any education institution:

“Which career should I have?” Every student has thought about their career choices (or at least been asked about them by their mom) many times. There is good reason to ask this complicated question (the subject of what to do with the rest of your life after college is a big one) because the problem of discovering what occupation to pursue is a perfect fit for quizzes.

“Which school should I go to?” Whether you’re talking about different schools within your system or just schools in general, the decision of where to go to school is almost as important as what to do with your career.

“What major should I have?” Along the same lines as what career you should have is the decision of what to major in. Many students struggle for years to figure this one out, and a well constructed quiz on the subject can truly strike a nerve (in a good way).

The pattern in the above questions is that a good quiz can help marketers discover problems people have in their decisions when pursuing higher education. Give people help with a question and they’ll be happy to respond by giving you their contact info.

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  1. Build trust by asking questions. The principle reason quizzes work as a lead generation tool is because there’s a certain level of trust built within a quiz, which warms the prospect up to handing over their information. There are a few methods for building this trust that can be the difference between an effective lead tool and an ineffective one. Here’s what to do:

Speak like a human. Quiz questions should mimic conversations that a counselor might have with a student about life and school. Take a personal approach to writing them and don’t worry about sounding to “smart.”

Be thorough. One big difference between the silly celebrity quizzes you see on Facebook and a proper higher education quiz is the accuracy of the results. If you’re recommending careers or majors, then quiz takers will take it seriously and you should, too.

Stay on topic. You can have fun with your questions but keep them relevant. Don’t ask for their favorite colors.

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  1. Be honest on your lead generation ask. The stage has been set. You have created a quiz that captures attention by promising to answer a pressing question, and then you built a relationship with the quiz taker in a short amount of time and successfully established trust. Now it’s time for the quiz taker to reciprocate and give you permission to follow up. This is a touchy moment. Here is how to successfully navigate it:

Only ask for what you need. If you don’t ever call your customers, then don’t ask for a phone number. If you don’t need to know their location, then don’t ask for a zip code. You get the idea.

Explain what you’ll do with the information. It’s better to say, “We’ll call you to see if our product is a good fit,” and it’s best to avoid saying, “Sign up for great advice!” Remember, if this person does become a good customer, then you’ll want them to trust you long-term, so don’t start off on the wrong foot.

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  1. Deliver on your promise in the quiz results.

Remember at the beginning of this post when we talked about quizzes solving a problem for people? The quiz results are where that problem solving comes to fruition.

Play to the emotions. The best and most-shared quizzes have an emotional aspect. For education, the best route is to stay positive. Even if you recommend a less highly valued major or a lower-level school, focus on the positive aspects rather than the negatives. For example, you could say, “You prefer to pursue activities outside of school and maintain a well-rounded life” instead of “You don’t like school that much.”

Keep it real. The temptation with the emotional response is to just tell people nice things and not worry about the outcome, but the problem is your quiz takers will see right through phony wording. The easiest way to stay positive and also nice is to just focus on the facts. If you are recommending a lower-ranked school, then the student will have more time to focus on extracurricular activities. Make that the focal point of your result.

Over-deliver. Go above and beyond for your quiz takers. The example below from EiCollege is excellent; they provide a detailed description of the major they recommend, as well as contact information and easy ways to follow up.

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  1. Follow-up after capturing a lead. Now that someone has given you their contact information, it’s time to begin the journey down the funnel to create a happy student who will rave about your school to their friends. Here’s what to do (and not do) with those new contacts.

Use what you know. If you are recommending a major or school, then the prospect is going to be curious. If you call the prospect, talk about that major; if you email them, lead with the recommendation.

Continue the conversation. Never, ever, just add your new quiz prospects to a general list. You should continue the conversation that you started within the quiz with your follow up. That means setting up a drip campaign for quiz takers, or calling them and talking about the quiz. Do not abruptly change the subject and just start sending your newsletter: a sure-fire way to ruin the relationship.

That’s it: five simple steps to create the perfect lead generation quiz for higher education. It’s not overly complicated, but it can be extremely effective.

So how’d I do? Can you see how the humble quiz can generate meaningful leads? I’d love to hear your thoughts either way in the comments below.

 

1eb47d5Josh Haynam is the co-founder of Interact, a place for creating beautiful and engaging quizzes that generate email leads. He writes about new ways to connect with customers and build trust with them.

Linkedin: Josh Haynam

Twitter: @jhaynam